IBM Power Systems

INNOV8 with POWER8
University Challenge

systems power education university challenge 2016 winnerCongratulations to Unicamp on winning Best in Show for 2016! Their project, OpenPOWER Cloud for Academic and Community Collaboration, was awarded Best in Show at InterConnect 2016 by Terri Virnig, Vice President of Power Ecosystem and Strategy, IBM Systems.

Click here to learn more about Unicamp’s submission, as well as the other outstanding projects received as part of the 2016 Innov8 with POWER8 University Challenge.


2016 - INNOV8 with POWER8 challenge

In university labs around the globe, researchers sift through huge amounts of structured and unstructured data. With big data, cloud and mobile application technologies they are tackling the most difficult problems in today’s world.

The IBM POWER8 chip was designed specifically to provide the speed, memory and I/O resources and open hardware and software architecture this new research demands. To help develop the necessary infrastructure and software, IBM has turned to some of the top universities around the world through the Innov8 with POWER8 University Challenge.

Entering its second year, Innov8 with POWER8 is an academic program for computer science senior and graduate students. Sponsored by IBM, in collaboration with fellow OpenPOWER Foundation member companies, the Innov8 with POWER8 challenge takes a huge leap forward this school year. The United States-based challenge is now a global challenge featuring students and universities from around the globe tackling real-world business challenges.

You decided

The students and universities in the Innov8 with POWER8 Challenge spent countless hours researching and working on their projects. You helped decide the outcome of this challenge by casting your vote online.

Check out our Tumblr page for the project results, the Best in Show team picture, and behind the scenes videos and project briefs.

Then share with your friends so they can learn more about this year’s most innovative Best in Show project and all the other innovative projects on POWER8 from universities around the world.


2016 challenge participants

The 2016 challenge includes six top universities from around the world – Delft Technical University in the Netherlands, Tsinghua University in Beijing, Tongji University in Shanghai, Louisiana State University, University of Texas and Unicamp in Brazil. During the fall semester of 2015, students from each school were provided with new Power Systems built on POWER8 architecture and participating OpenPOWER partner infrastructure.

The goal of the challenge is to enable the students to leverage the POWER8 and OpenPOWER Foundation members’ infrastructure to drive innovation in big data, technical computing and cloud services to solve real world business problems across a variety of specialized projects.

Delft Technical University

TUDelftDelft University’s project uses the capabilities of POWER8 as an optimized platform for in-memory Big Data computation with Apache Spark. Delft was the first school to teach a Spark class leveraging POWER, and the goal of this project is to show how Spark and POWER8 can be leveraged to solve challenging problems.

One such problem is gene sequencing. This data-intensive challenge involves a number of steps that are extremely I/O intensive, making it quite difficult to effectively execute this workload on a conventional Big Data platform. The goal of this project is to show how Spark on POWER8 can be leveraged to do much better, and then to use CAPI FPGA-based acceleration to do even better. The results of the project will be captured in a set of materials that are intended to form the basis of a class on accelerated Big Data Systems in the 2016-17 academic year.


Community partners

Xilinx
Altera
Nvidia
Mellanox Technologies

Tsinghua University

Tsinghua UniversityThe Chinese stock market is highly unpredictable. It’s driven by many outside factors like trading data, company news and even the emotions of the public.

Students at Tsinghua University are designing and implementing a stock price predicting system using social network data and company news. The performance contains two aspects of meaning. One is to get higher prediction precision by using better algorithms and machine learning models. The other is to speed up the training and predicting methods by using parallel computing and heterogeneous computing such as GPU and FPGA model on POWER8 based SuperVessel Cloud.


Community partners

Xilinx
Altera
Ubuntu
Mellanox Technologies
Nvidia

Tongji University

Tongji UniversityProtein is an important class of biological macromolecules which is the material basis of all life. Mass spectrometry-based proteomics is widely used in the study of biological markers for disease prevention. Tongji University will be tackling the mass spectrometry data analytics, specifically Bioinformatics. The students will be researching mass spectrometry databases and how to design effective algorithms to accelerate data analysis by combining POWER8 with GPU and FPGA acceleration on the POWER8 based Supervessel Cloud.


Community partners

Xilinx
Altera
Ubuntu
Mellanox Technologies
Nvidia

Louisiana State University

LSU Louisiana State UniversityGenome input data already exceeds a terabyte, and it continues to grow as sequencing technologies improve. LSU’s unique genome assembler method is currently limited by the available main memory on their Intel x86 servers. The next version of their genome assembler, designed towards in-memory, key-value store methods, will be optimized to exploit RedisLabs NoSQL software running on IBM POWER8 servers and CAPI attached FlashSystem storage. LSU’s initiative, in collaboration with RedisLabs and IBM, will enable terabytes of flash to appear as main memory to the genome assembler application.


Community partners

Xilinx
Altera
Ubuntu
RedisLabs
Mellanox Technologies

University of Texas

University of TexasFAbRIC is a project to put high-end FPGA platforms and CAD tools and high-end servers into the TACC supercomputer center for open use. The environment enables the sharing of expensive FPGA platforms, and provides the ability to duplicate results and build on others work.

Grad students at the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas will incorporate IBM POWER8 systems into the existing FAbRIC cloud making those systems available to a worldwide audience of OpenPOWER developers. This will allow them to develop applications for FPGAs on both x86 and Power based systems and compare the results of those applications.


Community partners

Xilinx
Altera
Ubuntu
Mellanox Technologies
Nvidia

Unicamp

UnicampAt Brazil’s Unicamp, students are taking their experiences from their MiniCloud hosting environment to build a full “Cloud-on-POWER8” experience for the OpenPOWER community. The environment will be based entirely on open source components.

The goal is to remove barriers to entry for POWER8 as a platform for innovation. This will make innovation on POWER8 easier than ever before so the community can create the world’s “next big thing.”


Community partners

Debian
OpenStack
Mellanox Technologies
KVM

About OpenPOWER

The OpenPOWER Foundation is an open, not-for-profit technical membership group incorporated in December 2013. OpenPOWER was created to develop a broad ecosystem of members that will create innovative solutions based on POWER architecture.

In the OpenPOWER Foundation, software and hardware are transparent --members have full access to view, and potentially modify, any of the details involved, whether software source code or the specific architecture of the POWER8 chip. This availability empowers members to not only optimize software or hardware for their applications -- but to view improvements made by other members. The result is a stable, robust infrastructure that’s active and ready faster than any vendor could accomplish with a proprietary system.

Contact IBM

Students, educators, parents, or organizations looking to get involved in the IBM Power Systems University Challenge, please contact us.

IBM Power Systems deliver flexibility and choice of operating systems to enable your business to support the next generation applications for big data and analytics and cognitive computing that are transforming how organizations work today. Whether running 1, 2, or all 3 - coupled with PowerVM, they maximize the benefit of Power Systems in your business.

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With the Power Systems Academic Initiative, universities can get teaching materials and access to Power Systems servers to conduct courses and research. Businesses can discover which of their local universities are involved so that they can collaborate, hire interns, or interview for staff positions. Find out more about the IBM Academic Initiative.